Elegant Picnics

ENJOY — garden style living
Illinois Shakespeare Festival 2018

Summer is my favorite season—and nothing says summer like a picnic! Also, nothing tastes as good at a picnic as fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit from your garden or from wherever else you can get it. This is true whether you’re packing a simple lunch to take with your kids to the park or pulling out all the stops like I do whenever we go to a Shakespeare festival. 

My husband and I are huge Shakespeare fans, and we discovered the fun of outdoor Shakespeare performances over 20 years ago. I have been adding to our elegant picnic paraphernalia ever since. You may not be into Shakespeare, but perhaps there are concerts in the park or other events in your area that warrant a special picnic set up. Perhaps you’d like to have an extra-lovely picnic for two to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.

I started by getting a picnic basket and soon found tin plates printed with antique porcelain china designs (shown on the right in above picture). I like them so much that I keep them out all the time on a tiered stand in my dining room. Ceramic dishes are too heavy, in my opinion, so I recommend melamine plates (such as the one on the left in above picture) if you cannot find tin ones. Instead of plastic glasses, however, I’ve bought pretty painted glasses from thrift stores. We like to bring folding chairs and a tray table or camp table with us rather than a blanket, and I put a pretty tea towel or small tablecloth on the table. A little vase with a fresh flower finishes the setting. For easy transport, get a vase that can fit in your vehicle’s cup holder and that has a narrow neck to prevent spills.

I put crackers and food items that don’t need to be refrigerated in the picnic basket, and I put the beverages and other food in a shoulder-strap cooler. Nowadays, it’s possible to get a picnic basket that’s insulated. The food I pack for these picnics varies according to how much time I have and what’s in my garden, pantry, and freezer. There’s nothing wrong with buying some or all of the meal. It’s really up to you. If you’re an organic gardener and any of your edible flowers are blooming, then you must use them to decorate the food. You must!

I may earn commissions for purchases made through any Amazon links in this post. See disclosure here.

Published by Debbie Rea - The Gardener Wife

Helping you to GROW SOMETHING, something beautiful—even better, something to eat!

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